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Full text of "Verdict On India"

171
about as practical as the suggestion that unemployment would
disappear in the U.S. if only the American housewife knitted her
husband's socks. Charkha has, of course, a minor value, in that it
is a blow aimed at the Lancashire cotton industry, but that it is
in no way a serious menace to big business is proved by the fact
that Gandhi's most ardent supporters are the Hindu miltowners
and the millionaires of the steel combines, whose profits are largely*
dependent on sweated labour. Naturally, they are delighted by
Gandhi's propaganda, which aims at convincing the peasant that
—apart from the hated British raj—he is best as he is, that there is
no need for him to strike for better pay, nor acquaint himself with
the true facts of his exploitation. The crude and blatant exponents
of Hindu capitalism could wish for nothing better than this vast
pool of serf*, sunk in ignorance and superstitition, sworn to non-
violence, with all their grievances conveniently concentrated on
the British bogy. For the Fascist boss, such a state of affairs is as
near to Paradise as he is ever likely to attain. But for the Indian
people, Gandhism is mass suicide. In the words of Roy :
* Gandhism was created by the ignorance, the blind faith, and
hero-worship of the backward Indian masses. Gandhism is the
expression of the worst in our people, of its ignorance* its cowardice,
its defeatism, its backwardness/1
It is the same with the other great plank in Gandhi's pro-
gramme, his so-called 'non-violence*.. .a doctrine which, in
practice, has invariably and inevitably led to violence on a quite
unprecedented scale. People talk as though Gandhi had invented
this menace to world peace; we can acquit him of this charge.
Non-violence is as old as the Hindu hills: it is part and parcel of
the fatalism, the pessimism, the negativism in which the whole
Hindu faith is shrouded. The purest example of it in modern
India may be seen in the spectacle of the Hindu moneylenders*
method of extracting payment for a bad debt. Instead of going
to law, or facing up to the debtor and giving him a soek on the
nose, he sits on his doorstep and weeps in the hope that his client
may thereby be shamed into a settlement.
—   Perhaps Gandhi is sincere in, his devotion to non-violence;
perhaps he is not; it does not much matter, either way. In a man
1 Gandhism, Nationalism, Socialism, by 1L N. Boy (Bengal Radical Club}.